GROUND conditions at Gowran Park on Saturday were among the most testing I have recorded anywhere in the last couple of seasons, at least on the hurdles course, and that needs to be borne in mind when the combatants reappear.

Cilaos Emery did not seem to take a lot out of himself in winning the Red Mills Trial Hurdle in quite good style, though it is worth noting that he received 7lb from runner-up Darasso and that his time was not as quick as was suggested in some places.